‘One third of our bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland. This is because we have drastically reduced the amount of food (flowers) and safe nesting sites in our [Ireland’s] landscapes. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is about all of us, from farmers to local authorities, to schools, gardeners and businesses, coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive. The first Plan covers the period 2015-2020 and a new version will be developed to cover 2021-2025.’ (Extract from pollinators.ie)
Wild pollinators exist naturally and are so important for pollination in our Irish countryside. In Ireland, there are 98 different species of bee. 97 of these are completely separate to the honey bee which is only 1 species. There are 20 species of bumblebees in Ireland. The remaining are 77 species are solitary bees, meaning they do not form colonies. We have 180 species of hoverflies in Ireland which are also very important to the environment and in naturally keeping down pests.
We need to maintain hedgerows in Ireland. One of the most important aspects of this is not cutting hedgerows from March to September, which is against the law. This is the flowering period for many wild flowers that pollinators rely on for food. The hedgerows are also important as safe nesting sites and linking corridors between different habitats. While you can help by growing plants in your garden for pollinators, by far, the most important thing is to maintain the variety of wild plants in our countryside. The following link provides a very valuable source of info on helping Ireland’s pollinators Download PDF.